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Posts Tagged ‘music’

I told you that you all would get sick of me once I quit my day job. Now I’m like, “Woohoo! I can actually write down all the random crap that’s in my head!” Sorry, friends. You were warned.

So keeping with a bit of a music theme, I’m posting one of my all-time favorite songs EVAR. When I walk in the mornings, I like to listen to music. Spotify has become my main music source, and I recently was introduced to this song (and singer). Not only do I love Laura Brehm’s voice, but this song sort of became my anthem over the last year or so. It’s been a series of ups and downs emotionally, some of which I’m still working through.

The heart of this song and the positive message behind it often ran through my mind when I made the decision to finally pursue my passion instead of forcing myself to fit into a job that I just didn’t enjoy. I knew that if I didn’t take the plunge now, I probably never would.

It’s scary and exciting all at once, but ultimately, I know that this is what I was called to do. Things have felt more “final” these last few months, allowing me to break off some of the last pieces of hurt and brokenness that had remained.

I’m still working on some final decisions before I reveal what I’ve been playing around with for the last…well, couple of years if I’m honest. Financially I have to make sure I’m doing I think is going to be best, which involves a lot of research. *le sigh* Obviously you just never know until you actually get started, but I feel like being somewhat prepared never really hurt anyway. And I’m a natural born planner, so…yeah. I’m gonna research and probably over-research.

But I’ll keep you guys posted as I do! As the song says, “The story has not come to an end, it now begins.”

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Happy late Birthday to me! New year, new direction, and thankfully, some new music!

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’m one of those people who can’t really write anything unless I have music playing. I know some people have to have total silence to concentrate, but I’m not wired that way. Oh sure, I can make it happen if I need to, but music is what drives me, fuels my imagination. It gives me energy. I’m very fortunate, because Brother is a huge fan of Spotify and upgraded to a family plan about a year ago. Thus Parents and I are able to listen to music ad-free and create tons of playlists and radio stations. I have fallen in love with those features, let me tell you. Color me spoiled.

When I’m getting ready in the morning or sitting down to write something, I usually have Spotify up and running on either my computer or my phone. (Seriously, what did we ever do without technology?) I kept hearing these songs that I liked on one particular radio station that I had created, and every time I looked, I laughed because the name of the artist that I kept liking was “Sizzle Bird.”

Yup, that’s the name all right. However, don’t let his title fool you. If you’re looking for a mellow Lindsey Stirling alternate, Sizzle Bird is your man. Same electronic feel, with violin and sometimes piano overtones. While Stirling has been one of my favorite musicians for a while, it’s nice to hear something new, and I dare say that Sizzle might just give Stirling a run for her money in my book.

If you want to know what I mean, check him out here. My personal favorites so far are Imagine and Warm Heart. I’m stupidly excited about it. Of course, I’m always excited about new music of any sort. I’ll come back later with the two other new-to-me bands that I’ve recently discovered that have just blown me away with their abilities. However, they’re just about as polar opposite of this as you can get, so I’ll let them have a post all of their own. Just keeping the mood the same here, you know.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there are very clearly several songs of his that I’ve never heard, so I’d best correct that.

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How I picture my interactions with Pandora Radio Station as I listen to it at work:

Me: Hmm, I’m kind of in the mood for something classical. *searches* Ooh, Classical Relaxation. Let’s try that.

Pandora: All right! Here’s Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.

Me: Ick, no. *thumbs down* Something else, please.

Pandora: Oh, so you didn’t like that rendition. Here, try Pachelbel’s Canon played the exact same way by a different artist.

Me: Um, thanks but no thanks. *thumbs down* I said I don’t like that song.

Pandora: Ah, I get it. It’s in the wrong key. No problem. Here’s Pachelbel’s Canon in E Major instead.

Me: …

Pandora: You like?

Me: *thumbs down* NO.

Pandora: I see the dilemma. Let’s switch it up, then. Listen to this cool rendition of a U2 song, done instrumentally.

Me: Wow, that’s actually kind of cool…wait. This is sounding awfully familiar.

Pandora: Because it’s a mashup of U2 and Pachelbel’s Canon! See what I did there?

Me: I hate you.

Pandora: I’ve also got a piano version of Pachelbel’s Canon. Want to hear it?

Me: THOR’S HAMMER, PANDORA, I DO NOT LIKE PACHELBEL’S CANON. It’s the most repetitive song in the history of repetitive songs, and given what’s popular today, that’s saying something. It plays the same chords in the same order over and over again until you’re ready to stab yourself in the eye socket with a fork. Seriously. I would rather listen to Coolio for twelve hours in a pit of poisonous vipers then ever hear this song again. STAHP.

Pandora: Oh, you like Coolio? I can make that happen.

Me: Uh, I wasn’t actually serious about that…

Pandora: Here’s I’ll C U When U Get There. Isn’t it “coolio”?

Me: Sweet mother potato it’s freaking Pachelbel’s Canon. Only with Coolio. Just kill me now.

Pandora: I knew you’d like it!

Me: I’m uninstalling you and switching to Spotify.

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Boy, does it really rock it!

Yeah, kinda crappy quality, I know. I only had my phone and it’s not the best at indoor lighting, sadly.

It had been years since I’d been to a real, honest-to-goodness, hard rock concert, and I’d really missed it. The last few rockin’ concerts I’d been to were even smaller than this, and no one really did anything but stand there. And they were comprised of mostly teenagers, too. Seriously, people? IT’S A ROCK CONCERT. Your parents probably rocked it harder back in the seventies than you are right now.

But thankfully, none of those people showed up last night. Everyone that attended was there to just have fun and enjoy the bands. I know it was a much smaller venue than Nightwish would normally do, but they really did put on one of the best concerts I’ve yet seen. I was ever so slightly disappointed that they didn’t stick around longer, but I know they have multiple other places to go to. I’m sure they had another show in another town the very next day, but still. I hope they come back, because I would gladly go again.

We started the night off with Kamelot, who I always enjoy.

Stood a little further away for these guys. I don’t have a fangirl crush on any of them, sorry.

I didn’t care for their casual tossing around of the f-bomb, but that’s just my personal opinion. Honestly, I knew that if that was the worst it got, it was probably considered a mild rock concert, ha! 😉 Kamelot did several good songs, including my all-time favorite of theirs, “March of Mephisto.” They also did “Ghost Opera,” which was pretty sweet.

Then it was time for the good stuff. I had read a press release prior to the concert that Anette would not be finishing the tour due to conflicts that they couldn’t resolve. I enjoyed her voice and felt that she did well enough considering the shoes she had to fill, but I wasn’t necessarily heartbroken that she wasn’t there. (No one can really replace Tarja, so why bother trying?) They ended pulling in another gal named Floor Jansen, who apparently used to sing in After Forever and ReVamp. Actually, I’d never heard of either of those bands, but I felt she did a really great job, especially since she’d probably only been practicing the songs for a few days.

I seriously wanted her shirt. It was amazing. Of course you can’t see it here, but you can trust me that it was gorgeous.

I was especially glad that they put together a variety of songs, including some older ones. They played two of my absolute favorites from when Tarja was with them, “Dark Chest of Wonders” and “Nemo.” Plus they did “Amaranth” and several of my favorites from their new album.

Yay for being on the side of the stage closest to Tuomas! The man’s talent is seemingly endless. Three different keyboards, and he bounced back and forth between them all with little to no effort.

OMG look at his hat! Love, love, love!

I think what surprised me the most was the band’s humility despite their enormous success. Their bassist, Marco, had a great personality and was so much fun. And every time Tuomas happened to look up and see a camera phone pointed in his direction, he just smiled and shook his head, nodding over to one of the other bandmates or the lead singer. Like, “Nah, you don’t really want to take a picture of me.” (Dude, why do you think I really came here??)

Bro and I eventually managed to get about two or three rows back, so I got an awesome view of all the band. (Of course that was only after staring at a guy’s shoulder blades for the first part. Stupid tall people. The upside of being only 5’2″ and fairly small is that I can usually squeeze into the front and no one minds because they can still totally see over me. The downside is that I’m at armpit height. Not so bad unless you’re in a crowd of teenagers. We’re lucky I survived the night.)

But, all in all, it was an awesome concert and I hope they come back to Oregon again in the near future.

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Why We Love Fantasy

This pretty much sums up how I feel about myself every day.

I know I’ve mentioned before my absolute love of the band Nightwish. [OMG – Fangirl squee!] I have yet to find another band that has captivated me so completely as they have. Their music has inspired countless battle scenes and epic moments in my writing and imagination. I can write a tragic and moving scene between two lovers while listening to the instrumental version of “Creek Mary’s Blood,” or picture Link fighting Ganandorf when I hear the instrumental version of “The Poet and the Pendulum.” (Go ahead. Listen to even just a sample of it and then visualize the absolute awesomeness of a scene like that. Oh yeah. I suppose, you’d have to listen to the full song to get the emotion from it, but still.) I can find a Nightwish song for pretty much any mood, especially thanks to their latest album.

Hence I’ve already decided that if my book ever gets a contract to become a movie, I want to have two clauses that are set in stone before I sign over anything. 1.) That Orlando Bloom and Robert Pattinson aren’t allowed to even try out for any roles. Period. 2.) That Tuomas Holopainen

Tuomas appeals to my pervy pirate/rocker fancier. He would look most fetching in a pirate costume, yes?

is offered the chance to write the score for the movie first. If he turns it down, then they can hire whomever they want. (Nothing really personal against Mr. Bloom or Mr. Pattinson, they’re just not at all what I picture for any characters. And I really can’t stand either of them. So sue me.)

But my current squee of the moment is because I hath purchased tickets to see the one and only Nightwish (and therefore the amazing and talented Tuomas) here in Oregon for this coming October. They’re playing in Portland, which is a good three hours from where I live, but it is well worth the drive. To make things even better, Kamelot is going to be opening for them! It’s like a fiesta in my brain. Yes, Husband took some convincing to let me purchase the tickets. (It’s what credit cards are for, okay?) But once I pleaded with him and told him it was – quite literally – the chance of a lifetime due to the fact that the band lives in Finland, he relented and agreed to let it be a late birthday present for me. (My birthday’s actually in August, but I shall gladly forgo any other presents for this one.) Younger Brother’s birthday actually is in October, so it’s a good way to combine them. I am so freaking ecstatic I can’t hardly stand it.

I must find a good rock concert outfit. I don’t think I even own one. Hmm. We shall rectify that post-haste.

I think it is most fitting that I get to attend this concert in October, as I’ve finally decided to release my first ever book that same month. I think if I give myself a definite deadline, I’ll be more apt to really get on the ball with the final details. I even came up with an advertisement:

Looks enticing, doesn’t it? 😉 Betcha can’t wait for October now! As more details are available, I’ll add to it. I’m getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about finally getting this out to the general public. My thoughts keep jumping back and forth:

What if people don’t like it? What if they do? What if they absolutely HATE it? What if they don’t care about the character development? Maybe they don’t like the idea of shapeshifters and elves in the same story. Do frogs really give you warts? How DO porcupines mate? AAUUUUGHHHH!!

You get the idea. I have the feeling these thoughts will continue to become more and more frequent the closer I get to the release date. I will have the concert to look forward to, which will help curb my excitement. Or make it worse.

In the meanwhile, you can picture me squealing like the little fangirl that I am until this milestone has been completed. *squee!*

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nightwishimaginaerum-vi

Oh. My. Gosh.

I have been anxiously waiting for months, poised and ready, for the newest album by Nightwish to be released here in the USA. As the time for its release approached, I began vainly counting down the hours, my fingers hovering above my mouse, prepared to click the very nanosecond it became available. It was worth the wait.

Very, very worth it.

I know that power metal isn’t for everyone. But this album is so amazingly epic that I can already picture the scenes in my next book thanks to it’s achingly beautiful, powerful score. A gorgeous blend of both instrumental and lyrical songs, it contains some of the most hauntingly wonderful music they have yet produced, in my humble opinion. After being blown away by the power and exquisite work of Dark Passion Play, I honestly wasn’t sure that they would be able to outdo themselves.

I am exceedingly happy that they proved me wrong. Yes, I know that their lyrics sometimes border on the overly dramatic, but that’s part of the fun. I certainly hope that they release an instrumental version of this album, just like Dark Passion Play. I have been refueled to start writing again, inspired by their symphonic/orchestral metal. Or, as my brother and I like to call it, “rockestra.”

I honestly can’t decide which song is my favorite at this point. As I continue to listen to it, there are elements in all of the songs that I like. Even the song “Slow, Love, Slow,” which has a very jazzy feel to it. I don’t normally care for jazz, but I appreciate the broad spectrum that it brings to this album. It shows that the musicians aren’t limited in their talents, that they can literally play just about anything.

I have yet to find another band that has captivated me like Nightwish has. I’ve searched for similar artists, but as far as I’m concerned, Imaginaerum just proves once again that Nightwish is in a league of their own.

And if my book is ever made into a movie, I’m going to beg Tuomas to write the score for it, plain and simple. It’s going in the contract.

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